The Magic Kingdom, Plagued by Production Delays, Reshuffles its 2014 Slate

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One week after Walt Disney Studios announced the delay of the much anticipated “Pirates of the Caribbean 5,” Disney Pixar announced the delay of two of its animated projects leaving the summer 2014 tent pole season sagging.

The recent slate shake-up seems to follow on the footsteps of the lackluster summer season in which expectations were riding high for the “Lone Ranger” to land the Magic Kingdom another bankable franchise possibility. Those expectations were clearly not met.

Disney also recently announced it was ending its first look deal with mega producer Jerry Bruckheimer.  

The relationship fell victim to the summer box office bomb, “Lone Ranger,” starring Johnny Deep and Army Hammer.  

Bob Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive of the Walt Disney Company announced they would be taking a 190m write down on the ill-fated comedic western. Similar to the space age “John Carter” flop, “Lone Ranger” was plagued by ballooning production costs that forced executives under the order of Walt Disney Chairman Alan Horn to shut down production until costs could be brought under control.

“Jerry is one of the most respected and prolific producers working in the motion picture industry and we have had an incredibly successful collaboration over the past two decades, and he is a friend to many of us here at Disney," said Alan Horn, chairman of the Walt Disney Studios. "We will continue to work together in the future, and we look forward to seeing more of the films that have made Jerry Bruckheimer a Hollywood legend," as reported in The Wrap.

The dissolution of a first look deal with the Magic Kingdom allows Bruckheimer to shop his golden ideas to every studio essentially freeing him from Disney management entanglements.

Disney Animation also announced separately the delay of “The Good Dinosaur” which coupled with the absence of “Pirates” has left shallowness in Walt Disney 2014 Slate.  The Good Dinosaur” will be released November 25, 2015.

Disney Pixar Studios sent shock waves through the industry with its announcement that it would be pushing back the “Finding Nemo” sequel “Finding Dory” until June 2016.

For the first time in a decade Disney Pixar studios will not be releasing an animated feature in 2014.

Not to be undone by the delays, Walt Disney Studios, banking on the box office thirst for the Marvel franchise, announced a 2014 summer slate heavy on the familiar and one that includes the newest additions to the ever expanding live action animation superhero family.

Maleficent” starring the voice talent of Angelia Jolie will hit theaters on May 30, 2014.

The next “Pirates” installment won’t see theaters until May 2015.

 

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